Address to the Nation—Measures taken against the spread of Coronavirus (Update No. 9)

As at Wednesday, the 6th day of May, 135,902 tests had been conducted with the country’s total number of confirmed cases standing, at the time, at 3,091, with 303 recoveries and 18 deaths.

On Thursday, the 7th day of May, 14,046 more tests were conducted, and this included the clearing of the last set of backlogs. The total confirmed cases, then, rose to 4,012 positives, i.e. 921 new cases. The recoveries stood at 323, 8 persons were critically ill, with recorded death cases still at 18.

533 out of the 921 new cases recorded between last Wednesday and Thursday are factory workers from a fishery-processing factory located in Tema. One (1) person infected the 533 persons with the virus.

The 921 cases were from backlogs dating as far back as 26th day of April, and not necessarily over a 24-hour window.

Measures put in place to defeat the pandemic are working because the daily rate of infection as at now has reduced, as compared to the previous rates of infections.

As at Sunday, 10th of May, the country had conducted 160, 501 test, with the total number of infections standing at 4,700, with 494 recoveries, 5 persons being critically ill, and 4,179 persons responding to treatment. 22 persons, virtually all of them with underlining illness such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic liver disease, had died.

The more people are tested for the virus, the more discoveries of positive cases we are going to make, and, thus have the opportunity to isolate and treat them. If people are not tested for the virus, there is no way they are going to be identified and let alone be isolated from the population and be treated to prevent them from spreading the virus.

Had it not been the enhanced contact tracing of infected persons, our total case count would have stood at 1,413.

The 4,700 persons infected so far with the virus have been identified, taken out of the population, isolated and are being treated.

The early detection of persons with the virus ensures that they do not spread the virus to others, and this provides the opportunity for infected persons to be treated. This helps to better understand the dynamics of the virus.

The rapid implementation of all the policies put in place by Government has resulted in low infection, hospitalization and death rates; some of the lowest in Africa and the world.

The country has administered more tests per million people than any other country in Africa, and, in fact, the World Health Organization has reached out to Ghana to share our sample pooling experience with other African countries, so they can adopt this strategy and ramp up their testing capabilities.

All and sundry are cautioned to maintain the measures of enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols to contain the spread of the virus, as they are the surest way to a quick return to a life of normalcy.

 The closure of our borders for one more month remains as announced during the recent May Day Celebration as the surest means to continue halting the importation of the virus into our country.

The ban on public gatherings, such as the holding of conferences, workshops, parties, nightclubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events are still in place till the 31st May 2020. All educational facilities, private and public, will remain closed. However, private burials with a quorum of not more than twenty-five (25) persons, could be performed.

The Police were commended for arresting and prosecuting persons, irrespective of their status in society, who flout these regulations.

Continuous practice of the measures of social distancing, washing our hands with soap under running water, refraining from shaking hands, and, wearing our masks whenever we leave our homes, can speed up the process of bringing this pandemic to a halt.

The Government has so far distributed the following to healthcare facilities across the country;

4,240,719 gloves;

2,576,333 nose masks;

60,823 goggles;

60,132 litres of sanitizers;

50,770 head covers;

41,992 gowns;

41,000 medical scrubs; and

30,783 N-95 face masks.

There is an extension of gesture to other front line actors engaged in the fight, with the presentation of five thousand (5,000) PPEs to members of the media.  Also, ten thousand domestically-produced face masks and more money will be delivered to the National Commission for Civic Education, to enhance its capacity to undertake the important work it is already doing.

The Government is putting in place a Resilience and Recovery Plan, with the overarching aim of finding more resources to strengthen the productive sectors of the economy to ensure sustained economic activity.

A soft loan scheme of six hundred million Ghana Cedis (GHC 600 million) is being rolled out, in this month of May, to support micro, small and medium scale businesses. The commercial banks, with the support of the Bank of Ghana, have also instituted a three billion Ghana Cedis (GHC 3 billion) credit and stimulus package to help revitalize industries especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.

The Minister of Finance is working tirelessly to find additional resources to supplement these amounts, including the resources to finance the construction of 88 district hospitals, ‘Agenda 88’, and 7 regional hospitals, which he will announce at the appropriate time to Parliament and the nation.

We have to improve our hygiene, our fitness and exercises, our eating and generally our style of living, which will boost our immunity to disease and the virus. In order to fortify our immune system with vitamins A, B6, C and E, which are the required nutrients needed by the body to fight the pandemic, each and every one should eat many of our local foods here in Ghana including oranges, kontomire, millet, cashew nuts, crabs, plantain, okro, dawadawa, brown rice and mushrooms.

“We can defeat it if we continue to look out for one another, and remain each other’s keeper. We are fighting a common enemy, and it is imperative that we do not allow religious, ethnic or political differences to get in the way of certain victory. So, we cannot allow a few persons, who wish to use these differences to scuttle our collective fight, to succeed.”

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

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